The fit family challenge: A primary care childhood obesity pilot intervention

Bonnie T Jortberg, Raquel Rosen, Sarah Roth, Luke Casias, L Miriam Dickinson, Letonyia Coombs, Nida S Awadallah, Meaghann K Bernardy, W Perry Dickinson


Background: Childhood obesity has increased dramatically over several decades, and the American Academy of Pediatrics has recommended primary care practices as ideal sites for the identification, education, and implementation of therapeutic interventions. The objective of this study was to describe the implementation and results for the Fit Family Challenge (FFC), a primary care-based childhood obesity intervention.

Methods: A single-intervention pilot project that trains primary care practices on childhood obesity guidelines and implementation of a family-focused behavior modification curriculum. A total of 29 family medicine and pediatric community practices in Colorado participated. Participants included 290 patients, aged 6 to 12 years, with a body mass index (BMI) above the 85th percentile. The main outcome measure included the feasibility of implementation of a childhood obesity program in primary care; secondary outcomes were changes in BMI percentile, BMI z-scores, blood pressure, and changes in lifestyle factors related to childhood obesity.

Results: Implementation of FFC is feasible, statically significant changes were seen for decreases in BMI percentile and BMI z-scores for participants who completed 9 to 15 months of follow-up; lifestyle factors related to childhood obesity in proved Spanish-speaking families and food insecurity were associated with less follow-up time (P < .01).

Conclusions: A primary care-based childhood obesity intervention may result in significant clinical and lifestyle changes.

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